vague unease

An Open Letter to Non-Vaxxers:

Tonight, while enjoying a nice dinner, I got a call from the director of my son’s preschool. She was calling to tell me that they had made the decision to put my son in a different class because two children in the class he was supposed to be in have “opted out” of their vaccines. This may not sound like a big thing. He is still in the Tuesday-Thursday class, and since he doesn’t start school until next Tuesday, it’s not like he has to get readjusted to a whole new class. No harm, no foul. Actually, this is a big deal–a very big deal. You see, my son is immunocompromised. He has cancer. He was fully vaccinated and supporting the whole “herd immunity” thing before his cancer diagnosis, but that darn chemo wiped out his immunity to the communicable diseases against which he had already been vaccinated.

So, parents who choose to not vaccinate because you feel it’s the “right choice for your family”, I would like to thank you. Thank you for adding yet another worry to my plate and my husband’s plate. You see, we already worry about a lot–it’s an unfortunate part of your child having cancer–you worry every night. On top of worrying about things like relapse, organ toxicity brought on by chemo, debilitating late effects of chemo, secondary cancers brought on by chemo, the mental effects of having more than three years of painful treatment, we now get to worry about, of all things, measles. And mumps. And whooping cough. And chicken pox.

Let me explain something about having a child with cancer to you: everything is robbed from your child in some form or another. Friends, Halloween, Christmas, play dates, school. It’s all taken away at some point or another and in some form or another because we have to protect our children from germs, because if they catch the wrong germs during the worst part of treatment, they can die. My son was isolated from everyone except immediate family for an entire year. For parents whose children are going through chemo, the decision to send them to school is a momentous one. It requires a leap of faith and trust in the surrounding community, in your child’s teachers and administrators, and in the families sending their children to school. It requires herd immunity. Now, even though my son is now in a different class than your unvaccinated children, I get to worry about him using the communal bathroom, the playground, and even walking around the halls with them. If there is an outbreak of measles in, say, Austin this winter, I won’t know if you have relatives in Austin and went to go see those relatives for Uncle Bobby’s birthday. I won’t know if your child was exposed to measles at the Austin Chuck-E-Cheese and then showed up at school on Tuesday. Oh, I’m sure you’ll do your due diligence and call the school to inform everyone that your child has come down with a case of the measles once it appears, but, the damage is done–the exposure to my immunocompromised child has already happened. It’s too late. Your choice just earned him a ticket to the hospital. Your choice just earned him a lot of shots and more toxic drugs in the desperate effort to stave off whatever disease your unvaccinated child passed to him. If, God forbid, he does come down with that disease, your choice just earned him a trip to the Pediatric ICU for a while–days, maybe weeks. Your choice may cost us our son. Who knows–it depends on how his already stressed body handles everything.

People like to say that in choosing to not vaccinate, they are making the “best choice for their family”, and that, after all, their children are the ones at risk, not other people’s children. No, sorry, you’re wrong. Choosing to home school is a choice that is made in the best interest of a family–it impacts nobody but your family. Choosing to eat all organic and locally grown food is a choice that impacts nobody but your family. For that matter, choosing to eat nothing but fast food and frozen meals is a choice that impacts nobody but your family. Choosing to not vaccinate impacts my family and my immunocompromised son. It impacts the teacher who is pregnant and teaching your non-vaccinated child. It impacts the man going through chemo who happened to be behind you in the grocery store when your unvaccinated child sneezed. It impacts the mom next to you at the pick up line at school who is on immunosuppressive drugs for her rheumatoid arthritis and who is bending down to hug her child just as your unvaccinated child coughs. Your “choice” has repercussions for your community.

Part of the cost of living in a first world country is that you have to do things that support the community in which you live. You pay taxes to pay for the police that respond to your 911 calls, to pay for the teachers who teach your children, and to pay for roads to be plowed and paved. You obey traffic laws to ensure an orderly flow of traffic. You don’t shout “fire” in a crowded theater because to do so would cause pandemonium and chaos. Sometimes, to live in a place with the privileges we enjoy here in America, you suck it up and do things you don’t want to do because it’s for the communal good. If everyone chose otherwise, we would not be a first world country. We would be a country without laws, roads, and schools. We would be a country overrun with disease. Your responsibility to your community is to vaccinate your child. The number of people who actually, literally, physically can’t have vaccines is extraordinarily small. The number of people who choose to not vaccinate is not–it’s growing. These people cite a vague unease about the number of vaccines a child gets or statistics they learned from Internet memes on autism. They confess conspiracy theories about Big Pharma and how it’s all a ploy to get doctors and pharmacists rich. They share anecdotes of a college friend’s neighbor’s son who got so sick from his vaccine he was hospitalized. They say their child got incredibly sick from the one round of vaccines he or she got at his 2 month visit, and they said they’re not vaccinating anymore. Guess what–if your child is sitting here today, talking, walking, eating, laughing, playing, and learning, he or she wasn’t that ill from the vaccine. He or she got a fever and reacted to the vaccine–it doesn’t mean they had an “adverse” reaction.

I am horrified, non-vaxxers, that you are so quick to forget the lessons of history. You’re spoiled and selfish because you have never seen the horrors of a society in which vaccines are not available. Perhaps you should talk to my mother about her neighbor growing up–the one who contracted German measles while pregnant with her third child. That third child was born deaf and with brain damage, thanks to his mother catching that communicable–and now preventable–disease while pregnant. Perhaps you should talk to anyone over the age of 60 about what it was like when polio was around–how nobody was allowed to go swimming or use public drinking fountains for fear of catching that dreaded–and now preventable–disease. Perhaps you should talk to the parents of a child with cancer whose daughter spent a month in the Pediatric ICU during treatment because she caught chicken pox–a preventable disease–from an unvaccinated classmate. Perhaps you should take a trip to a third world country and explain to them why they should not be lining up in droves to get their children vaccinated by the Red Cross or other relief organizations. Perhaps, better yet, you should keep your children out of school.

—  Alex Pomadoni via Imgur
Regional Gothic Gothic
  • You read the memes of every place you’ve ever been. You begin to realize that you’re reading the memes of places you haven’t been, though you have an innate sense that you’ve been there before.
  • You don’t remember when this meme started. You don’t remember how this meme started. You don’t remember if this meme started. This meme has been around for as long as you can remember.
  • Time ticks closer and closer to where you know the meme will begin to die. With every second, the sense of fear you feel towards it gets larger and larger.
  • Your thoughts begin to mirror those of the memes. With the faint black haze of an eighth grade boy, every thought you have exudes as much melodrama as you can handle. Until there’s more melodrama  than you can handle. Your body begins to disintegrate under the stress.
  • When you’re not reading Regional Gothic posts, you have a vague sense of unease. Unease about what? The edges of your vision are going black. You continue reading.

the-sleepy-bus-stop  asked:

I love the fairy college comic. My college had this thing called midnight breakfast around finals (for those up studying late) and I feel as though that would be something fairies would also be attracted to. Also, what about all those emails colleges send out? People should be more careful opening them because on occasion a spell is placed within

Midnight breakfasts are liminal spaces for students AND Fair Folk; everyone ends up there, very confused, eating strange fruit and not quite thinking clearly. An air of vague unease and giddiness permeates everything. 

I don't normally post non-original content but...

An Open Letter to Non-Vaxxers


Tonight, while enjoying a nice dinner, I got a call from the director of my son’s preschool. She was calling to tell me that they had made the decision to put my son in a different class because two children in the class he was supposed to be in have “opted out” of their vaccines. This may not sound like a big thing. He is still in the Tuesday-Thursday class, and since he doesn’t start school until next Tuesday, it’s not like he has to get readjusted to a whole new class. No harm, no foul. Actually, this is a big deal–a very big deal. You see, my son is immunocompromised. He has cancer. He was fully vaccinated and supporting the whole “herd immunity” thing before his cancer diagnosis, but that darn chemo wiped out his immunity to the communicable diseases against which he had already been vaccinated. So, parents who choose to not vaccinate because you feel it’s the “right choice for your family”, I would like to thank you. Thank you for adding yet another worry to my plate and my husband’s plate. You see, we already worry about a lot–it’s an unfortunate part of your child having cancer–you worry every night. On top of worrying about things like relapse, organ toxicity brought on by chemo, debilitating late effects of chemo, secondary cancers brought on by chemo, the mental effects of having more than three years of painful treatment, we now get to worry about, of all things, measles. And mumps. And whooping cough. And chicken pox.

BLet me explain something about having a child with cancer to you: everything is robbed from your child in some form or another. Friends, Halloween, Christmas, play dates, school. It’s all taken away at some point or another and in some form or another because we have to protect our children from germs, because if they catch the wrong germs during the worst part of treatment, they can die. My son was isolated from everyone except immediate family for an entire year. For parents whose children are going through chemo, the decision to send them to school is a momentous one. It requires a leap of faith and trust in the surrounding community, in your child’s teachers and administrators, and in the families sending their children to school. It requires herd immunity. Now, even though my son is now in a different class than your unvaccinated children, I get to worry about him using the communal bathroom, the playground, and even walking around the halls with them. If there is an outbreak of measles in, say, Austin this winter, I won’t know if you have relatives in Austin and went to go see those relatives for Uncle Bobby’s birthday. I won’t know if your child was exposed to measles at the Austin Chuck-E-Cheese and then showed up at school on Tuesday. Oh, I’m sure you’ll do your due diligence and call the school to inform everyone that your child has come down with a case of the measles once it appears, but, the damage is done–the exposure to my immunocompromised child has already happened. It’s too late. Your choice just earned him a ticket to the hospital. Your choice just earned him a lot of shots and more toxic drugs in the desperate effort to stave off whatever disease your unvaccinated child passed to him. If, God forbid, he does come down with that disease, your choice just earned him a trip to the Pediatric ICU for a while–days, maybe weeks. Your choice may cost us our son. Who knows–it depends on how his already stressed body handles everything.


People like to say that in choosing to not vaccinate, they are making the “best choice for their family”, and that, after all, their children are the ones at risk, not other people’s children. No, sorry, you’re wrong. Choosing to home school is a choice that is made in the best interest of a family–it impacts nobody but your family. Choosing to eat all organic and locally grown food is a choice that impacts nobody but your family. For that matter, choosing to eat nothing but fast food and frozen meals is a choice that impacts nobody but your family. Choosing to not vaccinate impacts my family and my immunocompromised son. It impacts the teacher who is pregnant and teaching your non-vaccinated child. It impacts the man going through chemo who happened to be behind you in the grocery store when your unvaccinated child sneezed. It impacts the mom next to you at the pick up line at school who is on immunosuppressive drugs for her rheumatoid arthritis and who is bending down to hug her child just as your unvaccinated child coughs. Your “choice” has repercussions for your community.


Part of the cost of living in a first world country is that you have to do things that support the community in which you live. You pay taxes to pay for the police that respond to your 911 calls, to pay for the teachers who teach your children, and to pay for roads to be plowed and paved. You obey traffic laws to ensure an orderly flow of traffic. You don’t shout “fire” in a crowded theater because to do so would cause pandemonium and chaos. Sometimes, to live in a place with the privileges we enjoy here in America, you suck it up and do things you don’t want to do because it’s for the communal good. If everyone chose otherwise, we would not be a first world country. We would be a country without laws, roads, and schools. We would be a country overrun with disease. Your responsibility to your community is to vaccinate your child. The number of people who actually, literally, physically can’t have vaccines is extraordinarily small. The number of people who choose to not vaccinate is not–it’s growing. These people cite a vague unease about the number of vaccines a child gets or statistics they learned from Internet memes on autism. They confess conspiracy theories about Big Pharma and how it’s all a ploy to get doctors and pharmacists rich. They share anecdotes of a college friend’s neighbor’s son who got so sick from his vaccine he was hospitalized. They say their child got incredibly sick from the one round of vaccines he or she got at his 2 month visit, and they said they’re not vaccinating anymore. Guess what–if your child is sitting here today, talking, walking, eating, laughing, playing, and learning, he or she wasn’t that ill from the vaccine. He or she got a fever and reacted to the vaccine–it doesn’t mean they had an “adverse” reaction.


I am horrified, non-vaxxers, that you are so quick to forget the lessons of history. You’re spoiled and selfish because you have never seen the horrors of a society in which vaccines are not available. Perhaps you should talk to my mother about her neighbor growing up–the one who contracted German measles while pregnant with her third child. That third child was born deaf and with brain damage, thanks to his mother catching that communicable–and now preventable–disease while pregnant. Perhaps you should talk to anyone over the age of 60 about what it was like when polio was around–how nobody was allowed to go swimming or use public drinking fountains for fear of catching that dreaded–and now preventable–disease. Perhaps you should talk to the parents of a child with cancer whose daughter spent a month in the Pediatric ICU during treatment because she caught chicken pox–a preventable disease–from an unvaccinated classmate. Perhaps you should take a trip to a third world country and explain to them why they should not be lining up in droves to get their children vaccinated by the Red Cross or other relief organizations. Perhaps, better yet, you should keep your children out of school.

Alex Pomadoni

are you ever depressed about something specific but you forget what exactly it was so you’re just like “oh well better stick with this general sense of vague unease like usual!”

waffel-haus  asked:

for the mini-fic prompt, might i request taagnus and #12?

12. things you said when you thought i was asleep. ( prompts — no longer accepting. )

also on ao3. major spoilers for episode 60. warning for lots of discussion of death and dying.

For all his neverending bravery, Magnus knows fear well.

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This was a a fool’s gambit, she thinks; and then she shakes her head to clear the demons. Places one hand above the other, pulls herself up over rock and ice, scarlet stains spreading from palms where gauntlets have torn. Every ten feet she looks below her and thinks about letting go, wonders if the wind would carry her away. To a different mountain. To a different life.

And then she places one hand above the other and pulls herself higher. The wind rises and her cloak snaps. Extinct, the Warlock said, but she is no fool.

It is waiting for her, somewhere high above her still. She knows it, can feel the certainty deep within the pit of her stomach, hot and wild and insistent. She felt it when the Warlock taunted her, she saw the pride and disdain upon his face and grinned to hear his dare, spoken with words that she would swear were not his own. But that is not why she came - oh, no. She came because she needed a way.

Hours pass. She has not spoken to her Ghost since she began the climb, as though it feels the same awe and certainty that she does and neither of them are willing to break their reverie.

One hand above the other, and her body rising higher. For a reckless moment, she closes her eyes and hangs from a jagged spar of rock or ice and before her eyes the memory replays; dust and ash and screams that she cannot forget despite all that she has seen, despite all that she has killed, despite the petty vengeance she has claimed.

Below her, infinity calls.

Not yet.

She could have changed it all, but she was not strong enough and now she is alone. She came for a way: she does not know what shape it will take; does not know if what she seeks is power, is solace, is forgiveness.

Not yet.

Hours bleed into days, for in this place time streams by in frozen, ivory whorls, and light seems to come from everywhere; clouds and mist reflect the silver-gold brilliance that birthed her and she has grown so tired she has forgotten how to think. Still she climbs, climbs until at last she realizes she can climb no further, and she collapses atop the unassuming summit of her torment, blinking into the radiance.

She stands, leaves bloody palm-prints in the snow. Her legs shake. She stares out over the drop; hears its whispers worming their way through tech and fabric, and resists the urge to run to it.

Behind her, snow crunches and something scrapes on rock.

Her turn is slow, halting. She will never admit it, but in this moment she feels a fear more pure than any she has felt before; not the gut-punch of dread or the nausea that comes before combat, but a high keening in her bones and a roaring in her ears that outmatches even the wind that still howls up the lonely frozen peak.

From one corner of her eye she sees it move. A single talon drags across the ice, and she knows that its vastness will fill her dreams. She closes her eyes and faces it, breathes a single, frozen breath, and opens them again.

She cannot judge the size of the thing that stands before her, that ripples in the luminescence. It is as endless as the sea and as minuscule as a pearl; as horrible and real as the hands that carried her here, to this place of solitude and beauty and perfect terror.

You are brave, huntress, it says; and its voice is the howl of wind and groan of rock and laughter of birds and the beating heart of all things. Brave, and strong.

I never was, she says, because she cannot keep herself from answering despite her fear. I am weak and always will be, and I will die and be forgotten the same as those I failed to save.

What do the dead matter? We stand upon the tip of the blade that you have forged from your own unending deaths, upon the Now that is you and is all that you have done. You alone can lift the knife. You alone can cut the shape of things to come.

She turns her head and glances down, to where the restless mist and cloud curls and uncurls again.

Not yet.

The grin widens. Rows of teeth gleam back at her, each one a promise, each one shining with razor-sharp potential. They came with the Traveler - she knows in a single instant of absolute clarity that they are not of the Traveler. She flinches at its wrongness, at the un-being of this creature; shivers as tendrils of ice slither down her neck. She does not know whether to run or fight.

Give me your dreams, oh huntress mine, and I will teach you how to eat the world.

The drop looms behind her, presses against the base of her spine, whispers its silken taunts. But before her there is only the grin.

Her Ghost screams at her, the first noise it has made since she began her ascent; a warning she can neither hear nor understand, because before her is only battle, is only wretched survival, is only horrifying necessity. It will kill her if she does not end it. Some things were never meant to be, and this - this thing, this creature of light and bone and sorrow - it must be erased. Unwritten. Made extinct.

The only way ahead is through. The only path to survival is victory.

And it grins, it grins, and in its grin she sees her own face; her fangs dripping blood, her talons clutching the maggot-white of fat and bone, and then her knives are in it and she cannot stop herself, and around her all she hears is laughter, laughter, laughter; and she does not know if it is hers.

She cannot stop until there is nothing left to kill, until her knife and patch-worked cloak are spattered in things she cannot name, until she realizes that she is crying.

The wind grants her silence. Beneath her, the snow shivers. Her eyes are closed. Frozen streaks crisscross her face. She raises her prize and blood coats lips once blue with cold, and as her teeth close in hot flesh something brilliant and sharp wails through her.

The work is messy, bloody - if blood is what it is. The bones she casts away, hides them where no one else will ever find them; convinces herself it is proof that the thing was never here. Unless - unless someday she should choose to find them again. To comfort herself. To show that she had the strength. It is good that she was the one to find it - others may not have had the force of will. She saves a single scale as proof, as totem, as trophy, wipes rimy tears from her face with a crimson hand.

The climb down takes her half as long or less, and she wonders why she struggled so much to ascend the mountain. It is not so large after all. By the time she reaches the ground she feels herself again; feels all her welcome, nail-cleaning confidence come back in a warm embrace, as though it had never left. As though she has stepped back into her own body. She is content.

Except for a vague feeling of unease. Except for the nagging sense that her victory was not hers alone. Except for the tickle in the back of her head, gentle as a lover’s caress, sharp as the knives strapped across her belt, that whispers:

There is always more to kill.

Girl Gang DND: Weeks 11 & 12: The Good, The Bad, and The Zombies or This Cube for Hire

When last we left our heroines, they had dispatched a group of bugbears deep inside the Lost Mine of Wave Echo Cave, and were getting ready to explore the rest of the labyrinthine dungeon. The bugbears had piled up some broken furniture against the opposite door, which of course sent the ladies in that direction.

It soon became apparent that the door was blocked due to an infestation of zombies, led by a floating, flaming, spell-casting skull. Rodwen channeled divinity and scared many of the undead, letting the rest of the party pick them off one by one. A few managed to escape to another room, but those zombies are tomorrow’s problems, amirite? The flameskull went down pretty quickly, and Kharris decided she wanted it as a trophy. An inter-party squabble broke out, as Callie and Raina tried in vain to talk her out of it, citing a vague feeling of unease about the skull. Eventually, Kharris relented, allowing Callie to sprinkle it with holy water, thereby ensuring it wouldn’t respawn in her bag in an hour (much to the DM’s chagrin, I might add).

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anonymous asked:

nonbinary neil prompt

this + chelsey’s ask alright…,,, kind of a continuation from this post i wrote with fox about genderfluid neil because a lot of the ideas are the same (i.e., in how i feel neil would explore gender, obviously genderfluid and non-binary are different)

and disclaimer.. i am cisgender so all i know about non-binary or genderfluid people is second hand knowledge, please please please tell me if i’ve gotten anything wrong or i’m being offensive i really don’t mean to be and i debated about not even answering this but… yeah anyway. under the cut

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andidovedeeper  asked:

I am at the end of my first semester of linguistics, and I love it. One of the things we learned was that pronouns are a closed category of words, but I see a lot of people trying to use new pronouns instead of he/she/they. Is this a futile mission of theirs or are pronouns not as closed as I learned or what?

It’s complicated. Closed and open are the standard terms, but they’re a simplification: a more precise description might be “classes of words that often accept new members” and “classes of words that accept new members only rarely”. 

So nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. are open (classes of words that often accept new members) because we’re creating new nouns and verbs all the time and no one bats an eye. In fact, I can make one right now – let’s say it’s chocopocalypse, which is what’ll happen if the world runs out of chocolate – and it wouldn’t take much to start people using it. 

Saying that pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, determiners, etc. are closed does reflect a real difference between them and the nouns/verbs/etc, because it’s certainly harder to add new ones. But in fact, there are occasionally new members of these classes, and it’s really neat when that happens because it’s just so rare. (No but seriously, the linguists at the Word of the Year vote the year that “slash” was entered as a new conjunction were so excited.) 

But historically, all of the “closed” words have changed at some point, because we’re not all still speaking Proto-World except for the nouns and verbs. In pronouns, for example, we used to have thou/thee and you/ye, and now we only have you (but we’re developing y’all and you guys). They and she are also relative newcomers to English, entering around the 12th-14th centuries: all the third-person pronouns used to begin with a sometimes-dropped h, which is why we have her and ‘em (we’ve reanalyzed ‘em as short for them, but it’s actually a relict of the older form). Oh, and it also used to be hit. But these changes tend to take a couple hundred years to fully stick for closed classes, while they can happen in a few months or years for open ones. (Think of how long it took for blog or google to become a verb. A year, maybe?)  

So what does that mean for gender-neutral third-singular pronouns? Well, they has been used as singular since Chaucer, but primarily in nonspecific contexts (”someone left their book”) so adapting it to specific ones (”Alex left their book”) is a bit of an extension but not a huge one. And historical trends suggest that new function words are more likely to arise from adaptations of existing words than from entirely new constructions. So if I were going to bet, I definitely think that singular they (in both specific and nonspecific versions) has a very good chance of long-term success. Popularity-wise, I have the impression that they is also the most common of the nonbinary pronouns, perhaps for that reason.

The more novel ones like xie/hir or ey/em? It depends. There are a few speech communities where a particular gender-neutral pronoun was used a lot, and people did pick them up. (Spivak pronouns, for example, caught on in LambdaMOO.) But I’m not aware of how it’s gone for any speech community that has tried to have multiple gender-neutral third singular pronouns at the same time. I suspect that’s more difficult, but I don’t really know whether it’s impossible. No one knows. We haven’t really tried it yet, at least not on a timescale of decades and centuries. Maybe kids that get exposed to lots of different pronouns at a young age will even treat them as an open class. (That would make for some seriously excited linguists let me tell you.) Or maybe people will end up just converging on singular specific they instead. 

But anyway, the difference between closed and open classes is why we can start casually using selfie or heteronormativity in a day or two, but we can take much longer to get fully automatic at ze or singular specific they, even when trying our hardest. I’m in favour of respecting people’s pronouns, but I do find that it takes an extra half-second of thinking to say the ones I’m not used to. But because I know I’m fighting a natural tendency, the fact that it takes more practice than learning a new noun isn’t something I stress myself over – in fact, I think of it as an interesting mental exercise, like practising a new language. (This type of additional conscious control is probably related to the link between language learning and executive functioning.)

More generally, I think it’s useful to recognize that learning to use a pronoun you’ve never encountered before is just not as easy as learning, say, a person’s name that’s equally unfamiliar. And we don’t do anyone any favours by pretending everyone else finds it easy and leading people to conclude that because they find it difficult that there’s something wrong with them or it’s not worth doing. People who say “but they is singular”, for example, are wrong in the details (they has long been used in the singular) but right in the vague sense of unease (they has not historically been used for specific, singular referents). It’s just that this discomfort is, from what I’ve been told, far milder and more temporary than the feeling of being misgendered, so it’s a question of what you want to prioritize. It’s a pity we won’t be around in a couple hundred years to see how it’s turned out, but until then, well, language is an open-source project, and we won’t know which parts are hackable unless we try.  

(Relevant links: Practice with pronouns, A non-binary person’s guide to invented pronouns.) 

itsmayonegg  asked:

Nomi/Amanita prompt: One of them asks the other out for the first time (you decide who does the asking!)

this totally got longer than i intended. oops but also not really.
nomi/amanita, 3k.

Nomi still gets nervous in bathrooms. It’s an old reflex, a bullshit flight or fight response she hasn’t been able to shake, and she hates the way it makes her feet shift against the ground nervously as she waits for her turn at the sink.

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Do you know what fills me with vague unease?
Black buildings.
Fully black buildings. Black windows, black cement, everything is black, and it stands out against the skyline, ominous, looming. A gash against the sky with hard angles.
That makes me uncomfortable in a way I can’t replicate.

I’m avoiding making a too-obvious “Great White Way” joke here, but it seems these observations track with Broadway audiences in general; according to The Broadway League, the trade association for the Broadway theater industry, nearly 8 in 10 people who saw Broadway shows in 2014-2015 were white and in their mid-40s. (That’s more diverse and a decade younger than NPR’s audience, for the record.) About 80 percent had college degrees and about 40 percent had graduate degrees.

Now, I’m not arguing that black and brown folks “should” go to Broadway shows, and there is, of course, lots of theater, far from Broadway, that caters to audiences of color. But it’s worth asking why this ostensibly uber-POC-friendly phenomenon isn’t consistently pulling a notably black and brown audience.


A bunch of folks in the Twitter conversation yesterday suggested that who goes to Broadway shows is a simple matter of dollars and cents. James McMaster at HowlRound recently made a similar assertion about Hamilton, which you pretty much can’t see without parting with a couple of hundred bucks:


“The exorbitantly high ticket prices coupled with the perpetually sold-out status of the production prohibit most working class people of color from attending the show. Given that the production’s audience, then, is overwhelmingly white and upper-middle-class, one wonders about the reception of the show’s racial performance. How many one-percenters walk away from Hamilton thinking that they are on the right side of history simply because they exchanged hundreds of dollars for the opportunity to sit through a racialized song and dance? My guess: too many.”


This is a compelling argument, but then again, nearly half a million folks book flights and hotels and tickets for EssenceFest in New Orleans each year. Then there’s the mad rush a few weeks back for tickets for Beyoncé’s surprise tour. That is to say, there’s a whole lot of pricey entertainment that people of color are willing to drop serious dough on, but Broadway shows like Hamilton don’t seem to rate. Money matters, of course, but it’s not the whole story.


When it comes to race and Broadway audiences, a big part of the story seems to be acculturation. Theater has a long history of segregated seating and plays chock full of racist caricatures that meant black folks, in particular, never warmed to Broadway. “Theatergoing on Broadway is supported by families who collected programs going back 50 or 80 years,” James Hatch, the co-author of A History of African American Theatre, told WNYC in 2012. “Blacks did not have that tradition, and apparently still don’t.”


That plays out today in the important, subtle social cues about who belongs. It’s hard enough getting comfortable in a social space when you’re unfamiliar with its rules and conventions. It’s even harder when you’re aware of how much you stand out. At Broadway shows like Hamilton, you get the honor of having that experience for a few hundred dollars. Even as Hamilton exceeded my impossibly high expectations, I felt a vague unease sitting there that night, like I was at a hip-hop show where my favorite group was performing, but I might get shushed for rapping along too loudly. (But c'mon, y'all: HERCULES MULLIGAN!)


Not being a regular theatergoer or a Broadway vet meant I didn’t know exactly how to be in the audience. I was unfamiliar enough with the ritual and customs of that space to be worried that I might be doing it wrong somehow. Could that disconnect be keeping folks who might shell out comparable cash for Bey, even if it means traveling to another city, from doing the same for Hamilton?

— 

Watching A Brown ‘Hamilton’ With A White Audience (NPR Code Switch)

I know that “don’t read the comments” is general wisdom, but for serious, don’t be lulled into some false sense of security by the fact that it’s on NPR Code Switch

stolen-owl  asked:

I want to hear your Eliot+food headcanons. Eliot+food canon and headcanon is one of my favorite things.

Oh man, I am so sorry if this is not the sort of direction you were hoping I took this in, because my Eliot + food headcanons are like. They are not fluffy headcanons about how much Eliot loves food! So, you know, sorry in advance.

Okay, so. I don’t have a lot of thoughts about Eliot and food and growing up? Like, there wasn’t ever enough of it, sure, but like. It’s not like he ever went without entirely, you know? I mean, sometimes it was butter sandwiches (always made with margarine) twice a day, but it wasn’t like- you know, he always had food.

(Part of the reason Eliot joined the military in the first place (beyond the fact that that was what you did if you wanted to get out) was that – and he will never admit this out loud, ever – there was the promise of three square meals a day. He was young, and angry, and didn’t realize how good he had it until it was too late.)

His whole stint in the military, when it comes to the food, is a bit of a blur, really. There’s nothing particularly outstanding or terrible about it, food is food, and he eats a lot of slop just like the rest of everyone. It’s probably not until Moreau gets his fingers into him – and I mean really gets his fingers into him – that he learns to actually like food. It’s the one good thing Moreau ever did for him.

Moreau encouraged an… appreciation for good things, and that included good food. And Eliot, well. Eliot always was a fast learner, wasn’t he. Especially when he was motivated, and the vague sense of unease, the embarrassment and shame, he felt whenever Moreau looked at him like he was regretting picking up a backwoods hick – even a backwoods hick who was the best for the job – was an excellent motivator.

(He also learned a lot about the different ways to poison someone through their food, the different ways people had tried to poison Moreau and his men, and failed.)

But still, even once he could identify what was good food and what was just average, even once he had preferences, it was still a mystery how that food happened. Like, cooking was a talent he Did Not Have and there was no point to, you know, trying if you don’t have the talent in the first place.

Then he met Toby. And Toby just- It was like this whole new world had opened up to him, a world where he was worth more than the damage his fists could do.

That first year after he left Moreau was rough, for a lot of reasons, and one of the things he learned fast was to never put any food in his mouth if he didn’t know where each ingredient came from, didn’t know who had touched it on every step of the way. It turned out that Moreau’s enemies weren’t the only ones who were fond of poison.

(He doesn’t actually grow all his own food now, but he grows as lot of it, just in case. Sure, he buys lots of things from the grocery store, but until the first bite he takes of the finished product, there’s always that little worry tickling the back of his mind. You’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you.)

And, you know, he remembers enough about food being scarce, has lived through enough lean times in his life, that now that he’s relatively stable- It’s not that he hoards food, exactly, because nothing’s ever anything less than perfectly fresh, nothing gets to stay past its use by date, but his fridge and cupboards are always full to bursting, because he can never get rid of that “what if” feeling.

He’s been on the run enough times in his life to know that sometimes you need to just grab what’s around you and go. That sometimes you’re not going to be able to stop running for days, not even to grab a packet of chips out of a convenience store. So, for a long time, he always has quick, non-perishable food stashed around wherever he’s living, so when the time comes he can grab a handful of power bars literally on his way out the back window. It’s a hard habit to break, and every so often – even when it gets to the point that he’s safe – he gets a sudden stab of panic over the realization that there’s nothing to grab on any of the exit routes that don’t go through the kitchen.

And, idk, I’ve been working on this post for days and I feel like I’m forgetting things, so let’s just call this the start of my headcanons about Eliot and food.

2

Criss-cross binding

I have never liked the criss-cross binding (also known as secret Belgian binding) much. Such a great statement to begin with! Even at its best it has always been a bit awkward to make, and throughout sewing it feels like you’re doing something wrong, just a bit wrong - not necessarily technically, more on a moral level. How come?

This binding indeed raises many questions. What is the purpose of this structure? Doesn’t the sewing eventually begin to suffer from abrasion? Is the excessive loose movement of the signatures and the cover pieces something that was intended or just a byproduct? Does it have enough structural fluency? Is it visually pleasing enough? What on earth is all this “secret Belgian binding” nonsense about, anyway? How’s it Belgian, or secret? 

During the past twenty years or so, the criss-cross binding has been surrounded by amazing amount of misinformation. There are odd stories referring to its historical origins and various other vague explanations floating around the Internet. Most of it is simply bogus. The bookbinder Hedi Kyle apparently first learnt about this non-adhesive technique when seeing Belgian examples of the binding, and brought it to the US. For a good while it was thought that the binding was some mystical historical structure which Kyle was said to have rediscovered. However, the technique seems to have been invented by a Belgian book artist Anne Goy in 1986 as a flexible alternative to Japanese stab bindings. Goy herself calls this technique of hers the criss-cross binding. 

To complicate things further, some tutorials online have indicated that the sections are sewn in using the thicker criss-cross threads as supports, but the original version actually utilises primary and secondary sewing, in which the text block is first sewn on tapes and then attached to the cover pieces with secondary sewing. This version makes much more sense, and produces a stronger product. 

Taking all this in consideration, it is truly mind-boggling that despite all the vague unease surrounding the technique, these bindings can look and feel really nice. The nicety of this binding depends a lot on the materials used. It is a good technique for utilising thick leather pieces and other rigid materials that are often difficult to manipulate into a regular handbound book. In my opinion it’s at its best when made with laminated leathers or somewhat kooky ingredients such as rubber mat or pieces of dense, pressed felt. It’s a great way to utilise reycled material. Unlike in other bookbinding, the thicker and bolder the materials are the better the resulting book feels. I also think it is about the time to shed the misinformed name of this binding and to attribute it to Anne Goy. 

The Hangover

Hiccup finally tells Astrid how he feels…sort of.

Chapter One: Stoick

Terrible Terrors are singing on the rooftop, really loud Terrors, really, really loud, like boring into his throbbing brain like sparks off a spinning grinding wheel loud. Hiccup groans and rolls over onto his stomach. Musty smelling furs chafe his skin. His stomach does a backflip and he groans again, clutching his head, the throbbing in his skull growing worse as he approaches full consciousness. The bed shakes and Hiccup’s eyes crack open to slits. Dim light stabs into them and he quickly screws them shut again, until a big sloppy wet tongue starts licking his face.

“Gah,” he cries, “fish breath, fish breath, fish breath!”

He nearly gags from the pungent smell of the slimy drool covering his face. He reaches out blindly and gently but firmly pushes the offending Night Fury away.

“Is that you son?”

His dad’s voice resonates up the steps, practically shaking the rafters,

“Good, I’m glad you’re awake,” he continues cheerfully, “breakfast is almost ready.”

“Great,” Hiccup groans, unenthusiastically dropping his throbbing head to the bed.

Keep reading

10

Poor Bel, you can just see how much Randall is totally freaking her out. Just look at her face when he’s adjusting his elephants and how she is clearly not entirely convinced he’s actually human

But then, to be fair to Bel, she is the only one of the core team of The Hour who first meets Randall as Head of News without knowing anything else about him. Contrast that with:

  • Lix who knows Randall of old and knows that however much he may of changed on the outside in their years apart, he’s still exactly the same on the inside
  • Freddie who first meets Randall in Paris where they apparently immediately recognized each other as kindred spirits and got on like a house on fire
  • Hector who doesn’t care because he’s drunk

And you can see why Bel was at a distinct disadvantage in terms of being able to read Randall’s let’s say enigmatic behavior and come up with anything other than a vague feeling of unease about what the hell was going to happen next. 

bookshido  asked:

I love witch reader fics! Could you possibly write one where the Reader is friends with TFW and they find out that she's been practicing spells and magic?

Woo! Hope this quick little drabble whets your appetite! This was fun!

-

You crushed the dried leaves between your fingers, the fragrant smell reaching your nostrils almost instantly. The only thing with these damn herbs was the smell, it was so pungent when first crushed but once it was burned the smell would dissipate quickly. You were lucky to even be able to buy them but thankfully online shopping had a lot to answer for.

Sprinkling the herbs over the paper, you got ready to utter the words that would light a spark to the sigils scribbled over the page. All that was needed now was the incense which you lit easy enough with a flick of your wrist. That was the easy part - fingers crossed this next part was as smooth, it was far more experimental than you were used to and you rather hoped it wouldn’t backfire. Closing your eyes, you cleared your mind of all thoughts other than those focusing on the task at hand. It took you a few moments but eventually you felt ready.

“Gradne rumulos dil-”

“Y/N?” Dean’s surprised voice snapped you out of your state before you’d even begun.

Your eyes shot open to see both Dean and Sam stood in the doorway to your room.

“What are you doing in here?” you said, eyes darting from them to the spellwork in front of you and back again.

“We could ask the same thing.” Sam spoke with his eyes fixed on the parchment rather than you as he stepped further into the room. “What’s all this?”

“I can explain.”

“Please do,” Dean nodded, a vague look of unease still set on his face.

You swallowed hard, gesturing to the ingredients in front of you, “I was doing a location spell on the suspect for the case.”

“A spell?” Dean scoffed, “D'ya not think that’s a bit extreme!? You can’t go meddling in this stuff halfheartedly, it’s dangerous.”

“Just as well I’ve had years of training then.”

You said it without even thinking. For future reference, mulling a sentence like that over before opening your mouth would likely be wiser. And judging by the dumb shock on the brothers’ faces, it’d come out very wrong.

“Guess the cat’s out the bag? Look, I’m sorry, I got into this before I met you guys. I don’t dabble in the dark stuff and I would never hurt anybody, in fact, I’ve used it to save a few. Don’t be mad, you have to understand why I…” you trailed off, realising you were getting breathless with the speed of your words.

“That explains why your room’s smelt funky a few times,” Dean muttered, offering a half smile. “I just thought you had bad taste in perfume.”

“Dean!” Sam chided his brother, turning back to you with hard features, “I won’t lie, I don’t like it.”

“I wouldn’t expect you to.”

“But I trust you, Y/N. If you say you have it under control, I trust y-”

Sam was cut off from his compelling speech by a rustle of fabric. Castiel appeared in the centre of the room, brows furrowed and a face like thunder.

“There’s a matter that may require your attention,” he said hurriedly. The other three of you in the room blinked dumbly, the sudden interuption having been a tad off putting. Cas looked between you and cocked his head. “I’m sensing tension?”

“You could say that,” Dean said with a short laugh, “We, errr, we just kinda found out Y/N practices magic.”

“Well yes I know, but the matter at hand-”

“You knew?” You butted in, eyes nearly popping out your skull in surprise. You’d been so careful, meticulously planning every spell around when you’d be alone. It’d always been a worry that Cas would randomly pop in but how did he know?

“I knew about a month after I met you but your soul was in tact and you were intelligent with it so I didn’t question you.”

You let out a small “Oh” sound before glancing at the brothers who looked equally blown away. Sam threw you a smile and shrugged, “Guess that’s settled then.”

“Guess so,” Dean agreed.

“Sam, Dean, Y/N. There really is something important that I need your help with, we need to go to Vegas, one of heaven’s artifacts-”

“Say no more. Zap us there.” Dean grinned, winking at you, “C'mon then, Hermione - can I call you Hermione now?”